Negative potato

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Algebraical representation of the negative potato.

The negative potato is a tuber from the family of the negative tubers. You can easily tell the difference between a negative potato and a regular potato (a.k.a positive potato) : when you have a negative potato, you don’t have no potato, you have less. Minus one potato to be precise. The negative potato is sometimes called the anti-potato, specially by the potaticians.


The negative potato was discovered by the famous mathematician John Machin (and yes, you can check, he really existed). The legend says that Mrs. Machin asked her husband to pick ten potatoes from those stored in their closet. Machin was not very good at counting, despite his job, which caused him to take one more. Having eleven potatoes, he went back to the closet and noticed it contained now minus one potato. Frankly I don’t know why they kept potatoes in their closet, but we should mind our own business.

He had just discovered the negative potato. In his closet.

How to obtain a negative potato?[edit]

Abstract representation of the negative potato

Take two casseroles, one with two potatoes, and the other with zero potatoes. Remove three potatoes from the casserole containing two potatoes and put all three in the casserole with zero potatoes. Now you get one casserole with three potatoes and another with minus one potato; the sum is still equal to two potatoes.

If you haven’t understood, read this chapter one more time.

Nutritious facts[edit]

Eating a negative potato is equivalent to throwing up a positive potato, without the messy inconvenience. The negative potato is a recommended meal for dieters; however, avoid abuse, especially if you suffer from anorexia. Eating too many negative potatoes can result in a glucid deficiency. And you might still be hungry afterwards.

Notice that the negative potato is one of the most appreciated foods in Negative Germany[1] ; Frenchmen often call the negative German "negative potato eaters".

The negative potato is also famous in the mirror universe, where it’s called "pegative notato".


Orange juice[edit]

To prepare one gallon of orange juice with negative potatoes, you need :

  • Three negative potatoes
  • Three positive potatoes
  • One gallon of orange juice

Put the orange juice in a casserole. Add the three negative potatoes (peeled). Wait 2 hours. Then add the three positive potatoes. You get one gallon of orange juice.

Negative French Fry[edit]

The negative french fry is a carrot stick, not to be confused with a negative carrot stick, which is in turn a potato.

Positive potato[edit]

You may wonder what the point is of having a chapter about positive potatoes in this article? It’s actually really simple. You can easily obtain positive potatoes from negative potatoes, but you need a calculator.

Let’s say you have six negative potatoes and that, instead, you would prefer having some positive potatoes. Just put three negative potatoes in a casserole, three in another casserole, take your calculator and multiply the two casseroles. You get nine positive potatoes (unfortunately, you will still have only two casseroles : 1 casserole*1 casserole = 1 casserole2).

This technique was invented by Jesus Christ one day when he didn't have enough food for all of his apostles. He was very poor and only had seven negative loaves of bread. Smart as he was (so smart that some say God called him "my son" with some pride), he took his calculator, multiplied three negative bread by four negative bread and end up with twelve positive bread. As a result, the twelve apostles had something to eat.

Another method to obtain positive consists in calculating the square of negative potatoes (i.e. multiply the negative potato by itself). This seems much more efficient because you can get one positive potato with only one negative potato. But in fact, this technique is tough to master. Rookies often make the mistake of calculating the square root instead of the square of the negative potato. And of course, the square root of a negative potato is an imaginary potato, which is totally nonsensical. Try to type 'square root of nine negative potatoes' on your calculator and you’ll see it will indicate 'error' as a result.

Square root of eight positive potatoes equals two potatoes, some french fries and a bit of ketchup.

At this stage, most of you may wonder if it is possible to extract the square root of a positive potato?. The answer is yes, of course. If you have nine positive potatoes, you can extract the roots of these tubers, although they are really not tasty. Usually, chefs prefer to extract the root of eight positive potatoes. Do the math : and change.

You get two positive potatoes and eight french fries, the french fries being the decimals of the potato. This technique is used by the french fries industry for mass production.


  1. The Negative Germany is what you obtain when you put one Germany in a casserole and then remove two Germanies

See also[edit]

This image tells the story of a negative potato meeting a positive potato.
  • Positive potato
  • Zero potato, commonly used for the preparation of the zero french fries or the zero gratin dauphinois
  • Infinite potato: a potato that only people with a infinite stomac can eat. Make sure you dont use too much infinite potatoes in your recipes, it may change the proportions.
  • John Machin, the man who discovered the negative potato
  • Achid Parmentier, the man who discovered the positive potato
  • The Darfur, the country where the zero potato is the national meal.